Margaret River Community Centre celebrates Old Hospital’s 100th birthday

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Anne Shepherdson, Jenny Bunbury and Ros Blakeney at the Old Hospital site.
Camera IconAnne Shepherdson, Jenny Bunbury and Ros Blakeney at the Old Hospital site. Credit: Stephen Blakeney

Residents will have the chance to get up close and personal to some of Margaret River’s milestone moments when the Old Hospital complex on Tunbridge Street celebrates its 100th birthday on Saturday.

An open day will take place between 11am and 4pm to commemorate the site’s heritage. It will include tours of the old wards and a nearby heritage trail, along with a panel discussion and music later in the day.

The site which provides community space today started life in 1924 as the first publicly-funded building in the then-small settlement.

The community centre has occupied the premises since 1990, and management committee member Ros Blakeney said the weekend’s celebration was a valuable look back at the past.

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“The old hospital is still providing what it started to do 100 years ago, which is caring for our community,” she said.

Ms Blakeney noted the site would have been demolished if not for the Margaret River community rallying to save the heritage site.

“Since October 1990, the old hospital has been home to the Margaret River Community Centre, which continues to provide and host a range of social support and health services as well as community activities, the Soup Kitchen and not-for-profit Community Centre for Children childcare,” she said.

“For the past 34 years, the Margaret River Community Centre Inc organisation has independently managed, restored and conserved these now State heritage-listed buildings and their gardens as custodian on behalf of the whole community.”

Saturday’s open day will see Jenny and Bill Bunbury discuss their book Settlement, Struggle and Success with Judy Wake and Keith McLeod after the official opening at 1.30pm, with Freeway South set to perform afterwards.

The Margaret River Soup Kitchen will offer lunch to guests and the Harlequin coffee van will also be on site.

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